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Campbellsville University’s Dr. John Chowning speaks to the first class of 2012 Rogers Scholars.

Rogers Scholars Rebecca Dunmore of Pulaski County and Michael Whitt of Estill County plan to put community service into action in their home communities after they graduate from the youth leadership program.

The students said they were challenged to become more involved in community service after listening to a presentation by guest speaker Dr. John Chowning, vice president for church and external relations and executive assistant to the president of Campbellsville University.

Chowning spoke to the first group of 2012 Rogers Scholars on Thursday shortly before lunch at The Center for Rural Development in Somerset.

“He really inspired us to put community service first and make service a crucial part of leadership,” said Dunmore, a junior at Pulaski County High School. “Community service is an important part of Rogers Scholars.”

Each Rogers Scholar is tasked with developing a community service project in their home communities after they complete the program.

Estill, a junior at Estill County High School, is already looking at ways he can help improve the quality of life for Estill Countians and Eastern Kentucky.

“Service and leadership work together,” said Estill. ” We need to work more with people in need, poverty, and hunger.”

“You are our best and brightest students in the region and our hope for the future,” Chowning told Rogers Scholars.

Chowning serves on the board of directors of Forward in the Fifth, an affiliate of The Center for Rural Development.

Click here to view other photographs from the Rogers Scholars program.

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